Sunday, November 28, 2010

Irene Merker Rosenberg, 1939-2010

I am sad to report the death of my colleague, Irene Merker Rosenberg. Professor Rosenberg was the first woman tenured at the University of Houston Law Center. She was a beloved teacher of constitutional law and an excellent scholar. Born in Brooklyn, she received her education at The City College of New York and New York University School of Law. She joined the Law Center faculty in 1974 with her late husband Yale Rosenberg, whom she met at NYU.  In addition to her numerous writings on criminal law and juvenile justice, Irene wrote extensively about Jewish law and its relationship to American constitutional and criminal law.

In an essay about the fortieth anniversary of the juvenile law case  In re Gault, Irene wrote, "Birthdays and anniversaries, especially those ending in zero, tend to put one in a reflective mood. I recollect that as I approached my fortieth, fiftieth, sixtieth, and soon my seventieth birthdays, I found myself thinking about my past, trying to figure out what went wrong, what went right, and why; how I could fix that which was fixable and learning to live with that which was not, mindful of the old adage that one must have the wisdom to know the difference between the two." Irene was a wise woman who shared her insights with students and colleagues. I am sorry that she didn't make it to her 80th birthday and continue to share her wisdom with the rest of us.

Further remembrances of Irene are available here and here.


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